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July 2, 2015

Layers of Doodles

The sketchbook of Stuart Adams is a wild ride. He draws in layers, which makes each page take a while to soak in while my eyes constantly find new visual details hidden underneath the doodled characters. Some of his backgrounds are unexpected textures, photographs, or a chaotic melange of colors which gives a certain depth to otherwise silly-looking doodles. My favorite thing Adams does is use white space to draw characters within the background, and then doodle more characters over those in black. The end product is crowded, messy, and full of spontaneous spirit. I see where Adams was coming from when he said, “The best way to describe my artwork is that it is like taking a mystery tour bus where Disney Land fuses into a Heironymous Bosch painting.”

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July 1, 2015

Kimmo Oja: Lots and Lots of Lines

I know what it's like to get lost in a repetitive action, that smoothing feeling of doing the same small motion over and over. When I look at these drawings by Kimmo Oja, I wonder if he chooses his imagery based on achieving that same feeling. The result is a dizzying amount of precise lines and strokes to create striking environments. But within each of these drawings, there is one peaceful object that stands alone and unaffected by the tangled setting: a bear, a line of trees, an owl, a wolf.

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June 28, 2015

More Illustrated Travel Journals: Анастасия Кардашова

This weekend, I experimented with a set of Prismacolor markers I received as a gift several months ago. My experience inspired me to look for more work in the same vein, and in my search I discovered the diverse portfolio of Анастасия Кардашова. I encourage you to scroll through her Instagram for examples of all kind of different imagery, mediums, and styles.

But for this post, I want to focus on the illustrated travel journal she created from a trip to Venice. I’m now able to relate to the process of working with markers, and I’m fascinated by how the colors are applied in these sketches. The irreversible strokes of markers made me very cautious about where to place my own strokes, afraid that I would make them too wide, too saturated, etc. Анастасия employs a style of layering vertical strokes to create a really interesting and effective way to apply color without just solidly filling an entire space. I also like her selective choice of white space. When viewing this journal I feel like Анастасия is telling me about her trip, and as she proceeds with the descriptions, the color creeps in. Not every moment of the trip is explained in detail, and therefore suggested in the negative spaces.

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June 15, 2015

A Monochrome Moleskine

I am captivated by Vahid’s marvelous monochrome moleskine. It was no surprise for me to read that his illustration experience includes some projects in animation and cartooning, because the artist’s passion for it bleeds through into his sketchbook. My first impression of several drawings was that they seemed like paused frames in the middle of a movement. The boldness and simplicity of his illustrations, along with a story they seem to be suggesting, evoke ancient black-figure paintings with a modern spin. It’s a cool combination of sharp angles and soft curves creating fascinating figures that prove you don’t need color to breathe life into a sketch.

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May 21, 2015

Sketchcraft

Crystal balls, ouija, magic circles… Is this a sketchbook or a spellbook? Emma Black pulls art and occult together in a hypnotic style. There’s something in the cryptic imagery that makes it come off more spiritual than spooky. Again and again I find myself mesmerized by her ritualistic repetition of geometric patterns and shading in thin, straight lines. Her series of animal sketches has the same magical undertones, where in pencil she draws the natural, then adds an element of the unnatural in red. It’s a compelling sketch style that’s simplistic and mystic. 

You can follow Emma Black on instagram to keep up with her witchy business.

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May 18, 2015

Barcelona, 365

I'm in the mood for some sight-seeing today. I took a quick tour around Barcelona through the sketchbook of Òscar Julve. He is an illustrator from Spain who challenged himself to draw his city for an entire year. Barcelona, 365 is the well-chosen titled for his blog. I really enjoy seeing artists set specific motivational challenges for themselves to get sketching, even if it's an idea as simple as doodling your way through your hometown. It's easy to get caught in the details when sketching something right in front of you, but Julve's talented hands stick to creating rough sketches out of thin lines that evocatively capture the ambiance of Barcelona's corners.

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May 11, 2015

Soft Shading, Bold Contrast

Elfandiary’s sketchbook is magic. I’ve been bewitched by the soft shading + sharp geometric cut-outs coming together to make something that is delicate and bold at the same time. Page after page of glamorous people are drawn in a style that is realistic in some parts and sketchy in others. It’s both exciting and elegant! The artist has also posted a few mesmerizing time lapse videos of their drawing process that you can see right here.

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